Commonly Abused Substances
Every person struggling with substance abuse has unique circumstances and factors that have led to their addiction. Contending with addiction doesn’t make you a bad person, although many people who have an addiction may feel that way for a time. It simply means you are dealing with a mental health condition and need to get better.
The effects of substance abuse differ depending on the length and severity of use, but addiction can be successfully treated with detox followed by a residential or outpatient component. The following are commonly abused substances that could benefit from Foundry’s detox program and short or long-term treatment at our facility.
Because of its legality, accessibility and social acceptance level, alcohol is one of the most frequently abused substances. It is particularly dangerous because it lowers inhibitions and makes actions like drunk driving more acceptable to the person consuming it. Long-term abuse can also cause substantial harm to your liver. Additionally, alcohol withdrawal can trigger life-threatening symptoms like seizures, heart problems and a condition known as delirium tremens, making it essential to seek a professional, medical detox for a safe experience.
While not entirely legal in the United States yet, marijuana is becoming decriminalized and more socially acceptable at the state level. The effects of marijuana on the psyche are milder than that of harder drugs, but the increased potency that consumers have been seeking has made this drug much more addictive than in years past.
Opioids come in many forms, including heroin and prescription drugs like Vicodin, fentanyl and Oxycontin. But they are all extremely addictive, susceptible to abuse and cause extremely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to overcome alone. Certain opioids are prescribed by doctors for a host of different reasons ranging from surgery to chronic pain management, but addiction can happen even with legitimate medical use.
Cocaine & Crack
Cocaine is a stimulant often used casually or in social situations. Dependence can rapidly develop because of its powerful effects on a person’s mood and thinking, however. Cocaine is even more addictive when converted to crack cocaine, a smokable form that often leads to harmful binges. The psychological effects of crack and cocaine withdrawal are severe, but can be overcome with professional help.
Other stimulants include amphetamines and methamphetamine, which are designed specifically to speed up the body’s functions. Some stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, can be prescribed legally to treat conditions like ADHD, while methamphetamine is sold illegally as a street drug. Stimulants work by releasing a large amount of dopamine to produce an intense, euphoric high, but coming down is an unpleasant process that most users try to avoid. This can lead to long-term use that damages the brain and makes it difficult to feel pleasure while sober, so stimulant addiction often requires counseling, professional detox and specialized care to overcome the lasting psychological effects.
Benzodiazepines are a sedative that have the opposite effect of stimulants; they are designed primarily to slow down brain activity, producing calmness and relaxation. Often prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders, benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium and Klonopin are beneficial for certain people but are often abused due to their intoxicating effects. Like alcohol, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be dangerous and cause seizures, hallucinations and an increased risk of suicide, so professional help is needed to detox from these substances.